Come what may, Indonesia is getting a new president in 2024. In this country, it's never too early to predict the frontrunners for the top job, and a couple of surveys suggest the favorites are already household names in politics.
Unless there's some major amendments to Indonesia's constitutional law, President Joko Widodo will not be able to run in 2024 after serving two successive five-year terms. When the incumbent steps down, his former rival and Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto will likely succeed him, according to recent surveys by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) and Indonesian Politics Parameter (PPI).
LSI interviewed 1,200 respondents for their preferred 2024 presidential candidates from Jan. 25 to 31. Using an open-ended approach, Prabowo came on top with 22.5 percent, followed by Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo with 10.6 percent and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan with 10.2 percent. In a closed response method comprising 14 of the country's most popular politicians, Prabowo once again topped the list at 25.4 percent, followed by Ganjar at 14.7 percent and Anies at 13.1 percent.
PPI, meanwhile, also interviewed 1,200 respondents from Feb. 3-8 using an open-ended approach. Similar to LSI's results, Prabowo topped PPI's list with 22.1 percent, though this time Anies came second with 14.6 percent and followed by Ganjar with 13.9 percent.
Both surveys claim to have a confidence level of 95 percent with a 2.9 percent margin of error.
Barring a few outlier surveys, most surveys carried out by independent groups correctly predicted the last two presidential elections in 2014 and 2019, both of which saw Jokowi defeating Prabowo in bitter contests. But what came as a surprise was the pair's political reconciliation and Prabowo agreeing to join Jokowi's cabinet as defense minister in 2019.
Will we see similar levels of polarization within society leading up to the 2024 presidential election if Prabowo, Anies, and Ganjar are going to be the top challengers for the hot seat? Whatever happens, we hope that the country will once again unite after the election for our collective good.